Perfectionism, Get out of my FAM Chart

Let’s be honest, here. I’ve been known to be, uh, overzealous about fertility charting around here. In some places online, people have voiced considerable anger, frustration, exasperation, even outrage at the difficulties charting presents.

As a human, I have to recognize that. I have to recognize that people struggle with charting and just because I have some really weird attachment to it, that’s not the case for everyone. I mean, I’m like, really weird. I find charting fun. I embrace the phases and use my creative spikes in my favor and my emotional lows to catch up on good books. Two years later, I still get a jump of excitement when I get a temp rise. But I guess, maybe it hasn’t always been that way.

For the first year-ish of charting, I was super casual about it. I wasn’t even using the same thermometer every day, which I learned was a big mistake. I was frustrated. I’d be lying if I said charting was always fun. It’s only gotten fun in the last year, when things started clicking for me.

But even still, if we take charting too seriously, we risk “Perfect Cycle Worshiping”. Yes, I have some cycles where I ovulate on a full moon, on day 14, and I get my period on the new moon. The temps show a perfect rise with a perfect fall the day before my period. But I also have wonky cycles where I’m stressed, or I drink a lot (it happens) or I’m traveling, and I have a false peak, and then I don’t ovulate until day 22.

It happens.

It’s also okay when that happens.

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I mean, seriously, how often does a chart look like this? Occasionally, for sure. But it doesn’t mean it has to look like that every time.

My instructor is fantastic for keeping perfectionism at bay. I’ll email her with “WTF is happening? Why do I have a random high temp before ovulation??” and she’ll reply with, “It happens. Don’t stress about it, it’s just a wonky temp. The bigger picture is more important than the random, charting anomaly.”

When we are charting our fertility, we must be ever so graceful with ourselves. We are human, not machines. And while we should work towards healthy cycles, the beauty of charting is that we are working with our bodies not against them.

So I must advance with true caution when I talk about charting. If it’s not easy for you, it doesn’t make you some rogue without a soul. Wonky cycles happen. It has nothing to do with your “rank” in charting. Your body isn’t punishing you. It just happens sometimes. And we have to roll with that.

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